I like to think that I have always had my finger very much on the fashion pulse! It's been the one thing, along with exercise, that I have loved since being a toddler, and the one thing that still defines and excites me today.
I'd say that I have a certain "style" rather than being fashionable and that has certainly (thankfully) developed over the years.
My mum could never dress me.
I ALWAYS knew exactly what I wanted to wear from as young as I was able to speak. I was always able and wanted to pull my own outfit of the day together! Matching shoes and dress - check!
I was probably the only 6 year old who had leather and suede kitten heels for school! I also insisted on a very expensive pair of green velvet trousers which I promptly ripped the arse out of doing the splits in the kitchen when I was about 11 (sorry Mum!)
I remember my Dad taking me to Leeds for my first ever leather jacket - a Christmas present when I was about 14. I worked in fashion retail at the weekends as a way of paying for my burgeoning love of designer clothes, manning the changing rooms of what at the time was called Concept Man and I think developed into River Island. My mum would give me my portion of the family allowance and I was responsible for doing my own clothes shopping so really, fashion has quite frankly always been my passion! I think its in my DNA.
I dabbled during the University years with the whole hippie grunge look! I went to Newcastle University and it had a really vibrant indie music scene. I henna'd my hair, wore those long flowing hippy skirts with tassels and bells on them, teamed with a mans's M&S cardi (with holes, had to have holes - don't ask me why - I looked like a tramp and my parents dismayed of me!) and a pair of metallic blue (spray painted by myself in my dorm where I almost asphyxiated myself!!) Doctor Martin 10 hole boots. Yup - TRAGIC!!!! ( I must dig out some photos for you - its was before the days of mobiles phones, let alone phones with cameras but there is photographic evidence out there which will totally titillate you!!)
Moving on to London to start my career, which has always been in media, I developed what my business partner calls one of two things, either the "stripper look" or the "media whore". Not sure I agree with either of those but I kinda know what he means. Doesn't matter the temperature, I'd probably have some strappy little number on that didn't cover too much. Always high heels and usually a pair of outrageous specs - still part of my look today. These were also the years when I started to heavily spray tan and highlight my hair. It was all a bit on the side of "glam" for the office. The girls I worked with used to joke that I lounged around the house in kitten heels. Funnily enough, my beloved Grandma Dot did once buy me a pair of fluffy pink marabou kitten heel slippers which I simply adored! (yup, bit of side boob! Not an uncommon sight)
My go to labels back then where Whistles, Karen Millen, Reiss, Miss Selfridges and I was starting to develop a love for Vivienne Westwood Anglomania. I had store cards at pretty much all of the aforementioned, including Selfridges and Harvey Nicks and spent my entire salary on clothes. I decided I wanted to look a bit more, avant gard, not necessarily trendy so it wouldn't be unusual for me to be wearing a leatherette skirt with a whistles embellished granny knit cardigan and a leopard print fur coat. Ot head to toe Vivienne including the funny little sack boots I had with built in toes that made me look like some kind of goat!!! God knows what I bloody thought I looked like! A right old "tart" I think my Dad once said!
I then moved on to a more "body con" look! That co-incided with my move out to Essex actually! A clingy dress and heels and make-up generally on point - not over the top but always perfectly in place. My style was mellowing and I was starting to dress more to my shape. By now of course I was 100% officially a blonde bombshell. I also had my teeth straightened and whitened and starting heavily investing in facial treatments. I used to have a terrific pair of fangs. I was turning into a barbie but without the boobs or the long legs! Still a lover of a bit of Viv, I also invested in pieces from Herve Leger, Mathew Williamson, Preen and Alexander McQueen. I was starting to take my fashion more seriously - looking for investment pieces that would stand the test of time. At least, that's what I told myself when I spent £2,000 of a Burberry Prorsum silk coat.
I developed my own measurement system. Its called the CPW - cost per wear. So that dress that I've worn 10 times that cost me £400 is only £40 really. Its called girls math! I believe boys have something similar for bikes!
So here we are today and my style is more polished and refined I'd say.
I still like to make a statement and I love experimental fashion but I've defined a more classy rock chic look! My go to daily labels are mostly French. I love the edginess and sophistication of labels like The Kooples, Maje, Sandro and Zadig and Voltaire. I do wear a lot of French labels. They have the "cat chic" look down pat that I'm wanting to achieve. I might be 45 but I am regularly rocking leather - trousers, skirt, dress, tops! I have them all. I also love All Saints for day to day pieces, especially knitwear. When it comes to special occasions dresses I am just in love with Self Portrait. So individual and unique, so feminine and flattering, such a sense of occasion, wonderful detailing and not eye wateringly expensive either! If I could only be dressed by two labels they would definitely be The Kooples and Self Portrait. If I could be sponsored by them - even bloody better!
So yes, my style has most definitely evolved as have I.
I will never ever give up on wanting to look fabulous and I don't believe in age appropriate clothing, only YOU appropriate clothing. Wear what makes you feel happy to be alive. Something that celebrates your spirit as well as your shape and please, don't save it for your Sunday Best!
In fact, go on, raid your wardrobe this evening, put on your most glamorous outfit, your favourite heels, then kick back in all your glory and finery and watch the box with your boo and a glass of vino. Cos that's what I'm doing tonight and you know's it! I'm sat here right now, writing this piece in my Agent Provocateur lace up dress and Jimmy Choo heels and Franco has a HUGE.....smile on his face!